Over the past years we have visited a few zoos in China, Finland and in Germany. We visit especially often the local zoo here in my hometown. Not that we are so fascinated by it but it is a nice little family tour and it is for free for us. Yes, for free as I receive each year from my brother a family card for the zoo so we can go whenever we want there and pay no entrance fee. Anyhow this summer we noticed that it would be nice to go to some new place and this is how I found out about the Arche Warder (Ark Warder). For one it is just 15 minutes away from us by car (I really wonder why I never heard about it before!) and it is more than just a normal zoo.
This zoo is so different as they are specialized on old breeds of livestock which are not used anymore these days and hence are endangered. Some of the animals are even as rare as the Siberian Tiger! Sure it might not be as exciting as other zoos for some people but for us it is a great place, especially with kids. Right when you enter some goats and sheep are coming and waiting to get some attention from the humans. Have you ever patted a sheep? They are sooo fluffy! Also so many animals had still some young ones around, just imagine some piglets running crazily around and making their cute sounds. My wife and Nathan loved particularly one certain baby goat which was so tiny, they tried their best to give it some food but the evil grown ups pushed always in between. Near the entrance is also a wooden cow and you can test your skill in milking it (okay only water coming out but what you expect of a fake cow!!). Lets just say that my wife and my dear mother-in-law did not manage to get any drop out, not even after I explained how to do it properly.
I believe that the animals have a rather good life there. Not just because they get fed all the time what they need but because they have also huge enclosures . Arche Warder is aiming at protecting these old livestock breeds by having breeding projects and don’t just present the animals like in normal zoos. The whole atmosphere was very nice as also the staff busy with cleaning and feeding greeted each person passing by. At the pig enclosures they had a funny feature, an information board where you could press a button and they would “imitate” the sound of the certain pig breed. It is incredible how many different breeds there are and how huge some of them can become. It is in general just surprising how many old livestock breeds exists and how they changed during the decades. Also the information you get there from the staff is great, who would have thought that Pekin Ducks are excellent pets who can build up the same kind of bond with humans what usually only dogs achieve.
You can also support the zoo and have your name then engraved in a wooden pole in a designated area visible for any visitor going around. I would love to support them but this has to wait for some later years as we still have some plans going on at the moment. Right now I hope that we can go there this year again together with my parents. Perhaps they are better in milking the cow than MIL…
Have you visited a park/ zoo which is aiming in protecting old livestock breeds?
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